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How to Write a Book Proposal: A 19-Step Quick

As a literary agent at Trident Media Group, a plethora of nonfiction book ideas come across my

What’s unique about nonfiction is it can be sold on a proposal-basis to book publishers

That’s because it’s idea-driven, as opposed to fiction, which needs to be sold on a

Want to write your own nonfiction book proposal? Use these guidelines as your template, with each section

Add the title and/or subtitle (separated by a colon or on a new line) and “A

Look at most any TOC inside a book to get a sense of what this page will

Slightly different from the Title Page section of the book proposal, this is where alternative titles and

The author(s) name(s) of the book proposal will be listed here

This can be a stressful practice for authors as storytellers by nature, but it’s good to

For example: motivational self-help, personal transformation/growth, philosophy, positive psychology, etc

You can find a more indepth guide on keywords and categories, or purchase a tool like Publisher

This is a section for inspirational or framing quotes that one would see in the opening pages

In a paragraph or two, add the target demographic(s) for the book

Explain how the book will carve out its place in a busy marketplace of similar books

Some of the takeaways that can only be experienced from this very book should be shared here,

What will the reader gain from reading this book? This section answers that question with a number

This section is devoted to people of note who could provide advance praise/blurbs for the forthcoming

Not only names should be listed here, but titles and why these are important endorsements

Can you guess what you do here? Write a little something about yourself!

For nonfiction, it’s not enough to have a good idea to write about

For authors with previously published books, this is a list of titles, along with publisher name and

If a book from this list was translated into other languages, had a film/TV adaptation, or

Provide a sparse outline that breaks down each chapter by name and number into a one or

Have ideas for any fun bonuses, such as activities or interactive/online content having to do with

Include 3-5 fully-written and polished sample chapters from the forthcoming manuscript

Nonfiction book proposals can top out around 50-75 pages, not including sample chapters

Add in those samples, and you’ll have a complete proposal ready to be considered by a

This course on Book Proposals from Chad Allen is one we recommend for authors

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